Muslim Youth Movements in Europe

The research project "Muslim Youth Movements in Europe: Mobilization and Identity Construction", which is scheduled from October 2014 to September 2017, aims to explore multi-ethnic, Muslim youth movements in Austria and Germany. The objective of the research is to examine conditions, manifestations and mechanisms of mobilization, the construction of collective identities and youth cultures, and politics of the respective youth movements. It is aimed to study a wide range of youth movements, representing different orientations of Islam, in the two mentioned countries.

The leading research question is: What role do Sicherheitskultur (Daase 2012) and church-state relations (Fetzer & Soper 2004) play for the self-perception and the politics of native speaking, multi-ethnic Muslim youth movements (who no longer define themselves along ethnic borders as did the first generation of Muslim immigrants). As opposed to Muslim associations of the first generation (Jonker 2002; Schiffauer 2010), associations of the so-called second and third generation are widely ignored in the literature on Muslim societies.

A central question is, whether a multi-ethnic consistence of the members as well as a common language (German) of these youth movements lead to more political participation and thus to a greater visibility of Muslim religiosity in the public space or not.

The gender aspect will also be analyzed. How do young Muslims, who are socialized in a mixed society, and who are organized in a Muslim youth movement organization, organize the gender aspect? Do Muslim women participate in all aspects of the organization? Do Muslim youth movements give space to young women who are excluded from other spheres of the public? By that, is the public space transformed with respect to the public visibility of Muslim religion?

Also, it will be asked whether different Sicherheitskulturen (wehrhafte Demokratie in Germany, etc.) as much as different state-church relations (legal status of Islam in Austria) have an effect on political participation of Muslim youth movements and does this lead to more politicization of religion (and if yes, how it is coined).

Furthermore, it is aimed to examine religiously inspired volunteer work. Questions such as: How do these movements motivate and mobilize people? Which structures of discontent are defined for legitimizing their policies and politics? What are the self-perceptions of these youth movements? It questions how these movements construct meaning, symbols, identities and youth cultures in the collective.

It will be examined, what the implications of the politics of these youth movements on the public space are and how they are transformed by these politics. Particularly, how borders of the private and the public are shifted by actors of religious youth movements.

The two countries Austria and Germany were chosen, since they are an ideal starting point for a comparative analysis. Next to different parallels (a similar history of immigration in Austria and Germany, ethnic composition of Muslim population, homogenous official national identity), some factors such as church-state relations (e.g. legal status of religions) and the Sicherheitskultur are different in many ways. Germany is well analyzed in respect of researches on contemporary Muslim life, while Austria is a research desideratum in international literature. Studies concentrate mainly on legal aspects (Kalb et al. 2003) and shed light on special issues like veil-politics (Gresch & Hadj-Abdou 2009) or mosque politics (Fürlinger 2010; Hafez 2010).

Project information in the unversity journal: PLUS Report 2015, pp. 18-23.

Project coordinator: Prof. Reinhard Heinisch, MA PhD
Project assistant: Dr. Farid Hafez, Postdoc

Project-related Publications

2018 Hafez, Farid/Reinhard Heinisch (2018). Breaking with Austrian Consociationalism: How the Rise of Rightwing Populism and Party Competition Have Changed Austria’s Islam Politics, in: Politics and Religion, 11(3), 649–678. [Link]
2016 Farid Hafez/Reinhard Heinisch/Raoul Kneucker/Regina Polak (Hrsg.) (2016). Jung, muslimisch, österreichisch: Einblicke in 20 Jahre Muslimische Jugend Österreich, Wien. [Link]
2015 Hafez, Farid (2015a). Das IslamG im Kontext islamophober Diskurse: Eine Policy Frame-Analyse zum Politikgestaltungsprozess des IslamG 2015, in: Juridikum, (2), 160–165. [Link]
Hafez, Farid/Rijad Dautović (2015). MuslimInnen als BürgerInnen zweiter Klasse? Eine vergleichende Analyse des Entwurfes eines neuen Islamgesetzes 2014 zum restlichen Religionsrecht, in: Jahrbuch für Islamophobieforschung 2015, 26–54. [Link]
2014Hafez, Farid (2014a). Disciplining the „Muslim Subject“: The Role of Security Agencies in Establishing Islamic Theology within the State’s Academia, in: Islamophobia Studies Journal, Vol. 2(2), 43–57. [Link]
Hafez, Farid (2014b). Gedenken im „islamischen Gedankenjahr“: Zur diskursiven Konstruktion des österreichischen Islams im Rahmen der Jubiläumsfeier zu 100 Jahren Islamgesetz, in: Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlands, Vol. 104, 63–84. [Link]
  • News
    The virtual international conference „The Mediality of the Letter – diplomatic Correspondence in the Context of Early Modern Letter Culture ” will take place via Webex on 29th/30th/31st October.
    In social pedagogical practice employees (agents) are confronted with a variety of challenges in complex, open social problem situations that have to be dealt with "professionally“ and with „ qualitatively“.
    As part of a six year long laser scan-monitoring in the Hohen Tauern geoscientists from Austria, Germany and Switzerland (GEORESEARCH, University of Salzburg, TU Munich, University of Bonn, University of Lausanne) examined the connection between the current glacier retreat and rockfall activity.
    New publication from the der MINT and the Media Didactics of the University of Salzburg by Waxmann Verlag.
    The EPU Project Call 2020 is now open! The deadline for submissions is the 17th November 2020 (12:00).
    The Faculty of Slavic Studies, the cultural centre DAS KINO and the Russian Centre invite you to the fifth series of cinema films from Eastern and Central Europe. As part of the film club „Slawistyka, Slavistika, Cлавистика“ award winning current Polish, Russian and Czech films with political and social themes will be shown.
    Applications for two dissertation prizes (worth 2,000 euros each) can be made until the 31st October.
    The Language Center has been active in the field of intercomprehension didactics for almost 20 years,Well-known multilingual didactics experts, came together to present the current state of research in this area.The result is the anthology "Lehr- und Lernkompetenzen für die Interkompehension. Perspektiven für die mehrsprachige Bildung (Teaching and Learning Skills for Intercomprehension. Perspectives for Multilingual Education)"Band 10 der Salzburger Reihe zur Lehrer/innen/bildung.
    During the time of Corona, in particular, it became clear just how important it is to support students digitally in their every day university life. The project „On Track“ – stay on track combines digital and social worlds. It is starting at the right time!
  • Veranstaltungen
  • Alumni Club
  • PRESS
  • University of Salzburg's facebook site University of Salzburg's twitter site University of Salzburg's instagram site University of Salzburg's flickr site University of Salzburg's vimeo site